Michael Freund driving Wendy O’Brien’s Pony Pair. Photo: Vicki Long.
Windsor, SC – March 6, 2013 – For the third year in a row, the Salute to Driving weekend, held in Windsor, SC, March 1-3, 2013, featured a beautiful dinner and auction, multiple driving clinics and a Combined Test Competition, all for the benefit of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation’s High Performance Driving program.
A highlight of the weekend was the successful Saturday night dinner and auction, which was held at organizing committee member Bev Lesher’s Courage to Lead Farm. The evening event was put on to raise funds for the USET Foundation that will be specifically dedicated to helping train the best drivers and equines to represent the USA in World Driving Championships.
During the decadent Berry Catering dinner, organized by Wendy O’Brien, attendees bid on fabulous live auction pieces. Auctioneer Paul Martin donated his time to handle the Live Auction of six special items. A sampling included a week at Hilton Head SC in a top resort condo for four including free greens fees, a dinner for 6 in Aiken in Jack Wetzel’s restored Log Cabin, three nights for two (including breakfast) in Boston at the prestigious Union House, Stabling and a B&B for two nights in Maine at the wonderful Acadia National Park in Maine, and a week’s stay in a 4 bedroom home on Block Island in Rhode Island. In addition to the Live Auction, a Silent Auction ran at the event from Friday morning through Saturday night and came to a close following the dinner.
Prior to the benefit dinner and auction, the weekend long Salute to Driving kicked off with dressage clinics by Michael Freund and Sterling Graburn at Chateau Log and Courage to Lead Farms. Freud led the USEF long listed drivers through the clinic, while Graburn worked with developing drivers. Other special events included a hazard demonstration and clinic, harnessing demonstrations, farrier demonstrations and a carriage exhibit. All of the weekend events served to help raise awareness and educate different audiences about the discipline of driving.
“We helped educate more people about the driving discipline, and at the same time raised funds for the USET Foundation, specifically for the driving discipline,” Lesher said. “We received many compliments about the dinner and the whole organization of everything. Everyone really enjoyed themselves.”
The weekend concluded on Sunday with the Combined Test Competition. Drivers at the preliminary through advanced levels had the opportunity to showcase their skills in both dressage and cones. For the first time since its inception three years ago, the Salute to Driving also welcomed ‘Very Small Equines’ (VSEs) in the combined test. The VSEs were also showcased doing a quadrille driving performance organized by Janelle Marshall. To the tune of “Flight of the Bumblebees,” eight drivers decked out in yellow and black bumblebee style put their VSEs through their paces and got huge appreciation from the crowd.
For more information about the Salute to Driving, please visit http://salutetodriving.com/.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.